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Trollers connect on Sacramento kings

WON Staff Writer
Published: Nov 03, 2017
SACRAMENTO — The section of the Sacramento River between Miller Park and Garcia Bend continues to be the best bet for salmon in the Central Valley, with anglers trolling flashers and lures reporting the best success. Guides on the river over the weekend said they are now catching bright late-fall kings.

SAC METRO AREA is still producing kings, and will for some time. Vince Costanza and Bob Fowler caught their limits of king salmon while fishing with captain Monte Smith October 17 while trolling Brad’s Cut Plugs fished behind a Proll Troll Flasher on a Phenix Abyss rod.


“Mid-town Sacramento is really good,” said Tim Boggs of Elkhorn Outdoor Sports. “It is pretty slow around the Verona area. They are catching them from Miller Park south.” Boggs said there was a hot bite last Monday between Miller Park and Garcia Bend, and then a decent bite the rest of the week.

Boggs said the Pro Troll flasher with a Brad’s cut plug lure stuffed with tuna has been hot this season. As more anglers discovery the technique, it has become the go-to method for salmon in the Sacramento area.

“That thing has really taken off,” Boggs said. “A lot of guys are coming into the bait shop and asking questions. I have a setup that I am showing. Once you get set up, you are ready to go. You just don’t want to get it snagged and lose it.” Boggs said the flasher and cut-bait lure is working best with 10 ounces of weight, trolled downriver.

Guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing said he expects the action between Miller Park and Garcia Bend to last well into November. Although not red hot, there are salmon moving through daily.

“Yesterday we got out there and we didn’t even have the third rod out yet and there was a fish on. Within 45 minutes we had three fish,” Smith said Sunday. “We got those three real quick. We had a couple of slow days and some good days.” Smith is trolling the Pro Troll flasher and Brad’s cut bait. He said the key right now is staying on top of the fish. “When they come in you better turn around and go back upriver to stay ahead of the school,” he said.

The quality of the fish is good. “Some fish are still really bright,” Smith said. “There are some that are starting to darken up, but the meat is still in really good shape.”

Guide James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service, who is credited with introducing the Pro Troll flasher and Brad’s cut bait combination to the Sacramento River, said his customers caught a couple of bright late fall kings on Sunday. “We got three today and lost three,” Netzel said. “We got some late-fall ones today. They were small late-falls, but they were little butterballs.”

With the lower water, Netzel said he has switched from 12-ounce weights to 10-ounce sinkers with his flasher rigs. “You have the morning bite for two or three hours, then you are praying for a fish,” Netzel said. He said this week’s expected rain could give fishing a boost, but anglers also may have to deal with more leaves in the water.

Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle said some anglers are doing well anchoring near the Pioneer Bridge and running plugs. One of his customers, Dennis Devagia, shared a report on Sunday while in the tackle shop. “They are doing pretty good,” Devagia said of the anglers anchoring at Pioneer. “One day one or two, and the next day eight or nine. They are anchoring with FlatFish. Most of the fish are averaging 15 to 16 pounds. Mornings are better. It’s a morning bite.”

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